Student learning outcomes: Physics (BA) / Physics (BS)

Shown here are the general learning goals of the program broken down into specific student learning outcomes (SLOs). These SLOs represent what a student should be able to do as a result of successfully completing this program. Student performance on these outcomes are routinely assessed by program faculty as a way of informing programmatic improvement efforts.

Goal Outcome

Students should demonstrate a fundamental understanding of classical and modern physics

  • Answer conceptual questions in classical mechanics, electricity & magnetism, and modern physics.
  • Answer quantitative problems in classical mechanics, electricity & magnetism, and modern physics
  • Demonstrate an understanding of Newton's laws, Maxwell's equations, and Schrodinger's equation
  • Demonstrate the mathematical concepts and methods appropriate for classical and modern physics.

Students should demonstrate advanced analytical, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills

  • Apply appropriate mathematical concepts and models for solving problems in classical and modern physics.
  • Estimate and check answers to problems in order to determine reasonableness, identify alternatives, and select optimal results.
  • Interpret mathematical models such as formulas, graphs, tables, and schematics, and draw inferences from them.

Students should demonstrate communication skills, especially in scientific/technical settings

  • Convey physics concepts to a general audience.
  • Effectively select and use hardware, software applications, and other technologies for communication.
  • Locate research results by searching electronic and traditional databases.
  • Present research in a form consistent with the AIP style manual.

Students should demonstrate experimental skills in basic and applied research

  • Analyze experimental results and draw reasonable conclusions from them.
  • Construct and assemble experimental apparatuses to conduct experiments that decisively test a hypothesis.
  • Identify and assess sources of experimental uncertainty and error.
  • Interpret experimental data to make meaningful comparisons between experiment and theory.

Students should demonstrate skills appropriate for the field of science and/or engineering at the entry level in industry, government, or academia

  • Apply their physics experience and knowledge to analyze new situations.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in standard software tools (Excel, Word, Graphical Analysis, etc.) for modeling, data analysis, and report writing.
  • Demonstrate understanding and/or proficiency of upper-level (269A) or applied (270B) physics.
  • Identify and use standard laboratory equipment and instrumentation.